Monday, December 15, 2008
It won't get the same attention that Brett Favre's famous performance received a few years ago. After all, it wasn't on Monday Night and it was against a dreadfully bad team, but Matt Cassel's game was, in a word, inspirational. In sloppy weather, he was 18/30 for 218 yards, a career high 4 TDs, and a tipped ball INT that should've been a reception.
Cassel was helped by his friends, specifically his running back friends. As a team, the Pats ran for 277 yards on 39 carries, or 7.1 yards a carry. Those are college numbers. Morris ran for 117, Jordan put up 97 on his old team, and Faulk added 45. Both Morris and Jordan had rushing TDs, Faulk had a receiving score.
Cassel only threw passes to 4 different receivers. Welker and Moss had 6 catches, Faulk had 5, and Sam Aiken had 1. But when you're running game is devouring yardage, and you've got guys like Moss, Welker, and Faulk; you don't need to spread the ball around much.
The defense had a good game overall, but had moments of sheer ugliness. The missed and messed up tackles remain an incessant theme. It seems like Ellis Hobbs must miss a big tackle and allow 30 extra yards at least once a game. But on the bright side, Junior Seau looked more in tune. And Jonathan Wilhite has emerged as a decent CB, taking snaps away from Deltha O'Neal. Thank frigging God.
The Pats didn't get tons of help around the League. The Bills had the Jets down 27-24 under 2 minutes, and for some reason they rolled out JP Losman on a 2nd & 5 passing play. Losman was sacked, fumbled, and the Jets returned it for a touchdown.
The Dolphins beat the 49ers 14-9. San Francisco couldn't manage a touchdown, and Miami rode a pair of 1st half scores to victory.
The good news is that Baltimore lost to the Steelers. So now there's a tie for the Wild Card.
Pats host the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday.
The best moment of the game was seeing Matt Cassel cradling the game ball with pride as he walked off the field. He didn't spend much time on the field after the game, but just enough for Coach Belichick to find him and give him a hug. That was a very nice scene.
AP Photo/George Nitkin
AP Photo/Bill Kostroun